1.1 As part of our duties under the European Framework for Electronic Communications , Ofcom is required to carry out periodic reviews of electronic communications markets in the UK. In line with such duties, Ofcom is now undertaking a new Business Connectivity Market Review ("BCMR") which examines the market for leased lines and backhaul circuits used by businesses and Communication Providers (CPs).
1.2 We have decided to gather stakeholders' views on what the key issues for this review should be before starting our substantive analysis of competitive conditions in business connectivity markets. This call for inputs will run in parallel with Information Requests under Section 135 of the Communications Act which we plan to issue during May.
1.3 In addition, we are aiming to have a new regime for business connectivity services in place, including any potential remedies and charge controls, by the time the current Leased Lines Charge Control ("LLCC") expires on the 30 September 2012 .
1.4 In order to achieve this target, we need to ensure that we consider any opportunity for streamlining and simplifying the analysis carried out for the last BCMR, so as to allow us to focus the time we have until the end of the current charge control period on those issues which are most relevant to our stakeholders.
1.5 With this Call for Inputs we are seeking stakeholders' views about the proposed scope (the range of products and services that we should cover) and the analytical approach for this review, including our approach to considering appropriate remedies for business connectivity markets. In particular:
i) we want stakeholders to tell us if there are any issues outside the proposed scope that we need to consider;
ii) we want to test with stakeholders some hypotheses relating to the status of some of the market definition findings of the last BCMR which we think might not have changed materially; where this aligns with substantive analysis, we will take into account stakeholders' views on whether there has been material change with respect to these issues, and will focus our work on any issues, including new and emerging issues, most relevant for stakeholders;
iii) with respect to the existing remedies, we would like to gather stakeholders' views on their overall experience with regulated access products, market entry and competition in relation to these markets throughout the UK, including in Kingston upon Hull, where KCOM is the incumbent network provider; and
iv) we seek stakeholders' views on whether and how, in their view, these markets have changed since the last BCMR was completed, both from their own perspective and the perspective of their end-users.
1.6 Stakeholders have until the 1 June 2011 to respond to this Call for inputs. There are many ways to respond. We welcome both written submissions through our website, via the email address provided in Annex 1, or by post to the address provided in Annex 1. If stakeholders prefer, they can, as an alternative or at the same time as providing a formal response, also get in contact with the project team to organise a face-to-face meeting.
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